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Empirical Perspectives on the Use of Hungarian Nominal Demonstratives

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Deixis and the use of demonstratives are widely studied topics across languages. The fundamental purpose of this book is to provide an account of the semantics and pragmatics of Hungarian nominal demonstratives by examining why a speaker opts for a given demonstrative form in a particular speech situation and by investigating how the meaning of a demonstrative interacts with contextual clues during the process of reference resolution. These questions are addressed from an empirical perspective; the study is built on the results of experimental work and corpus-based analyses. The present volume emphasizes the need to rely on various types of data source obtained by the application of diverse methods (including elicitation, corpus-linguistic and experimental methods) to develop a comprehensive account of demonstrative use. The empirical findings reported contribute to our understanding of demonstrative practice as an interactional process between the speaker and the addressee; it is argued that demonstrative reference in Hungarian is a dynamic, highly context-dependent, interactive and addressee-oriented process.

The present volume not only expands current approaches to the use of Hungarian nominal demonstratives, it also provides new insights on demonstrative use in a language where this phenomenon has not been explored by empirical tools before. The collected data and the research findings make valuable contributions to current international debate on the role of factors that govern the choice of demonstratives in different languages.

Published: May 1, 2024